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    PROSECUTOR-GENERAL ON AUGUST 2004 AIR CRASHES

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    MOSCOW, SEPTEMBER 16, (RIA Novosti) - A police captain didn't search two suspicious-looking Chechen women, allowing them to board Tupolev Tu-154 and Tu-134 jetliners August 24. Those women subsequently blew themselves up, thus causing the planes to crash. This was disclosed here the other day by Russia's Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov, who said that both terrorist acts could have been prevented, and that this chance had been missed through sheer negligence.

    Both women named Nagayeva and Dzhebirkhanova arrived at Moscow Domodedovo airport together with two other Chechens at 7.45 p.m. August 24. They were approached by local police officers, who took their passports; a police captain responsible for anti-terrorist operations talked to them later on. That man was supposed to check their luggage and their possible complicity in terrorist acts. However, the captain let them go, without checking their record, Ustinov told Rossiiskaya Gazeta September 15.

    According to Ustinov, both Chechen women then started hunting for air tickets inside the airport building. A scalper named Arutyunov sold them tickets for 5,000 roubles; one woman paid him 2,000 roubles, with the other one giving 3,000 roubles to Arutyunov, who paid 1,000 roubles to a Sibir Airlines official at the registration desk. That official wrote a message on Dzhebirkhanova's ticket, noting that she must board flight 1047 August 24, 2004. That suicide bomber then boarded the plane without any problems.

    The afore-said men have already been arrested, Ustinov added.

    Both crashes killed 90 people, with the state board of inquiry establishing that terrorist acts had been committed aboard the Tu-154 and the Tu-134.

    Aircraft structures disintegrated in mid-air as a result of explosives inside passenger compartments, thus causing the planes to crash, Igor Levitin, chairman of this board of inquiry, noted.

    An explosion took place inside the Tu-154's passenger-seat row 25 and the Tu-134's passenger-seat row 19, Levitin went on to say. According to Levitin, the bombs went off, while the Tu-154 was flying at an altitude of 12,100 meters; meanwhile the Tu-134's altitude was 8,100 meters.

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